Advancing into new dimensions

The first portal milling machine in the new Endura 900 Linear Compact series from Fooke is now in operation at Arnstädter Werkzeug und Maschinenbau (AWM). The installation is also a premiere for AWM: the company is venturing into new territory and can now handle tool weights of up to 20 tonne (previous capacity was 10 tonne). Fooke is represented in the UK by Phase 3 CNC.

“We had already set our sights on another supplier, but became aware of Fooke through a partner company,” says board member Klaus Kleinsteuber.
A convincing argument for AWM was the fact that the machine could be installed without foundations. On a relatively small footprint, the large machining area allows five-sided machining of workpieces made from steel, cast iron and aluminium, with traverse paths of up to 3500 x 2500 x 1500 mm.
The Arnstadt-based company uses its new machine for the fine-finish machining of injection moulds in order to achieve the required surface quality and necessary dimensional and geometrical accuracy. Above all, however, AWM can also use the Endura 900 Linear Compact to expand its customer base in the 10-20 tonne tool servicing sector, as responses to its expanded range of services have already shown. This factor is associated with a further advantage: large tools do not have to be dismantled first and reassembled after maintenance, but can now be machined in one piece – an enormous time benefit.
“This gives us a unique selling point in the region,” concludes Kleinsteuber.
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NCMT is Rema agent in UK

NCMT has been appointed as the sole sales and service agent in the UK and Ireland for the range of vertical machining centres manufactured by Rema Control of Italy.

Founded in 1987, the company specialises in building large three- and five-axis moving-column machines with travels up to 8000 mm in the X axis and 1200 mm in Y. The manufacturer also produces trunnion-type five-axis VMCs, universal milling machines with box ways, and gantry-type VMCs with a rotary pallet changer.
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ONA supplies machines to VW

The Palmela plant of Volkswagen, near Lisbon, has installed an ONA AV35 wire EDM and an ONA QX4 die-sink EDM for its pressing and stamping operation, replacing two obsolete models from another manufacturer. Both machines offer 600 x 400 x 400 mm in X, Y and Z.

Among all the EDM machine suppliers analysed by the plant, ONA stood out “for its optimum quality-price ratio” and “the commercial and technical assistance received throughout the sales process”, reports VW.
VW’s new ONA EDM machines play a vital role in the manufacture of stamped parts at Palmela. Here, the usual wear and/or breakage of matrices makes a rapid machining response essential for their immediate replacement, so that production in the area is assured. More than 800 vehicles leave the plant every day. With the installation of ONA’s AV35 and QX4 EDM machines, the facility has not only reduced the risk of downtime, but increased production capacity.
When ONA asked Volkswagen Portugal to rate it as a supplier of EDM equipment, the company was given a score of 9.4 out of 10, making it an ‘A-Type’ supplier.
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Smart wire technology unveiled

Smart EDM wire technology equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips that enables manufacturers to fully exploit the potential of their AgieCharmilles Cut P wire EDM machines and, simultaneously, achieve Industry 4.0 level process control, has been released by GF Machining Solutions. The company’s premium wires featuring RFID chips facilitate greater process continuity and traceability, as well as improved process performance.

Due to Smart wire’s monitoring capabilities, the machine operator always knows how much wire is available for current jobs. The moment a spool of Smart wire is installed, the Cut P machine recognises and ‘logs’ the wire length. As a result, the operator knows, at a glance, the status of the wire spool and whether there is enough wire to complete the cutting operation without stoppages or interruptions.
Simultaneously, wire traceability is enhanced by the information in the machine report, which includes date of manufacture, type, lot and expiration date. Users of Smart wire can be confident they are using the optimum wire for every job because the technology checks and assesses the wire selected, and optimises the performance of the machine accordingly.
A wide range of Smart wires is available to suit different requirements. For example, if the machining priority is surface quality, GF Machining Solutions’ AC Cut AH 900/500/400 and AC Cut A 900/500 Smart wires are recommended. However, to achieve improved productivity, AC Cut VS 900+, AC Cut VS 900/500 and AC Cut D 500 Smart wires are the option to choose, while if maximised cutting speeds are required, AC Cut VH Smart wire and AC Brass 900/500/400 are offered as the solution.
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Vollmer upgrades VPulse 500 wire EDM

Vollmer’s VPulse 500 wire-erosion machine has been equipped with additional functions to dress diamond grinding wheels using erosive methods.

Another advantage of Vollmer’s latest technology is that using a hydrocarbon-based dielectric protects the clamping systems of the wheel packages from corrosion.
The method of how metal-bonded diamond grinding wheels are dressed determines their removal rate and operating life. When these wheels are dressed mechanically, the diamond grains partially lose their sharpness and break away easily. This effect results in only moderate grain protrusion, which does not allow the metal-bonded grinding wheel to be used at its optimum operating point. The solution of contactless spark erosion yields structure and retaining force in the diamond grains.
Dr Stefan Brand, CEO of the Vollmer Group, says: “Metal-bonded diamond grinding wheels are increasingly being used in tool machining. To improve their removal rate and operating life, spark eroding is the recommended dressing method. At the EMO 2019 exhibition in Hanover, we demonstrated for the first time how grinding wheels can be dressed using erosive methods with our VPulse 500.”
Unlike other eroding processes, the VPulse 500 uses a hydrocarbon-based dielectric, meaning that the sensitive clamping systems on the grinding wheel packages do not require special protection. With its five-axis kinematics, the VPulse 500 automatically measures and erodes every diamond grinding wheel.
As a benefit of the fine eroding wire, even complex geometries can be machined on the grinding wheel in one set-up. Internal testing of the VPulse 500 at Vollmer has shown that, compared with mechanical methods, the operating life of metal-bonded grinding wheels can be improved significantly. In addition, the removal rate is enhanced as a result of the open-pored grinding wheel with grain-free regions.
“Customers have the option of equipping the VPulse 500 with four different workpiece storage solutions, enabling up to 68 grinding wheel packages to be processed unmanned, around the clock,” says Brand. “This is irrespective of whether companies are manufacturing or re-profiling diamond grinding wheels.”
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